Hey BPLighters ...
My wife and I are transitioning to a lighter, more minimalist approach than has heretofore been our style. This has largely been precipitated by my wife's increasing problems with arthritic knees, though our new awareness of recent advances in materials has also been a motivation. We haven't paid too much attention to new gear since we've been happy with our previous kit assembled over the past 5-10 years, but having spent hours poring over this website we now feel much more enlightened (pun semi-intended) about ways that we can ease her pain while actually going longer and farther into the backcountry. In the past, we've always been weekend-warrior types doing only 2-3 day trips and have generally carried 40 lbs (me) and 30 lbs (her) for even these short trips. We've restocked and now sport the following base gear lists for our standard 2-3 day trips. We'd love your collective opinions about our efforts.
These lists (hers and mine) are generally valid for summer/autumn trips in the Rockies, and would obviously be adapted for conditions in warmer climates and/or longer trips. Our intention is not to be true ultra-lighters, and we are comfortable with a bit of added weight in exchange for greater comfort - and even a luxury or two. The goal's been to get her weight below 20 lbs, and mine to 25-30 lbs. We've managed that, but wonder what else we might do to improve. Note that she now carries the tent, and I carry all food/cooking materials. Also note that she has thyroid issues which cause her to chill easily. Our next two purchases will be to replace her sleeping bag and my heavy dead-bird rain pants (Montbell Rain Trekker?).